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Brief Therapy for Alcohol Abuse

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alcohol abuse

When we think about drinking, alcoholism often comes to mind, a term that often indicates the most serious and disabling cases of alcohol abuse, which I will not deal with in this article.

However, there are situations in which drinking becomes a problem: because it is the only way you have fun or relax, because it is an invasive habit, because although it does not reach destructive levels, it is still excessive.

It is called alcohol abuse, or problematic drinking, and it is a problem that can be treated with Short Therapy.

The substance use disorder

To get an idea, we can see a generally accepted classification when it comes to “substance abuse”, where the substance can be a drug but also alcohol. Alcohol is often taken in larger quantities or for longer periods of time than expected by the person. The person often wishes to reduce or control the use of alcohol, but is unable to do so, or his attempts fall on deaf ears.

These characteristics can give indications on when drinking becomes a problem. But there is also another way of looking at things.

Whatever the reason, drinking becomes the lever to do something or cope with something. The problem is that it works. The person feels more relaxed, or more confident, or less suffering. Except that it didn’t really solve its difficulty. And he knows it well. In that case, stopping alcohol can be very difficult.

Brief Therapy for Alcohol Abuse

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In their beautiful book, When drinking becomes a problem, written for psychologists and psychotherapists, Insoo Kim Berg and Scott Miller highlight the elegance of one of the best known Short Therapy approaches: Short Therapy Centered on the Solution.

We could thus summarize the purpose of this therapy: to open new scenarios to the person who has problems with alcohol, who is quickly guided to change their perceptions, their behaviors and therefore their problems with drinking.

In general, in many Short Therapies a job that can be done is on two fronts.

On the one hand, it helps the person to stop the dysfunctional solution of drinking. In fact, the more you drink to feel relaxed, confident, trouble-free, etc., the more you confirm that, without alcohol, relaxed, confident and trouble-free you are not at all!

Strategies are then used to help you stop drinking. Often we start right from the resources of the person, to identify what would be the first things he could do to change his relationship with drinking. Using graduality is often an excellent start: as a domino effect, it becomes easier to reduce problematic behavior.

Stopping alcohol abuse with Brief Therapy is possible. Research conducted in the field of substance abuse and addictions has shown that even a single session often brings significant improvements.  By the time you make the decision to quit drinking, you are already activating your resources. If these alone are not enough, then you can turn to a psychologist who, in this way, becomes a facilitator who will help the person find his way. If you want, you can also take advantage of online therapy, which is as effective as studio therapy. For example, by visiting alcohol-detox.org, you can know in and outpatient detox treatment for alcohol as a reflection of how you should do your alcohol therapy.